In the coming weeks, the Osceola staff will take a look at each Florida State position group. Next up: Tight ends.
2021 stats: Camren McDonald (24 catches, 243 yards, two touchdowns), Jordan Wilson (11 catches, 132 yards), Wyatt Rector (two catches, 13 yards, one touchdown), Preston Daniel (one catch, five yards).
2022 projected tight ends: McDonald, Rector, Daniel, Jackson West, Markeston Douglas and Koby Gross. FSU also landed high school signees Jerrale Powers and Brian Courtney.
Departures: Jordan Wilson, who transferred from UCLA to FSU in 2020, has seen his eligibility expire and will pursue his pro prospects. Carter Boatwright, who was part of the 2020 signing class, has entered the transfer portal.
State of the TE room: Improving and developing but also large in size with seven scholarship players as well as Daniel and a few walk-ons. McDonald’s return is crucial based on his production and improvement as a blocker. With Wilson moving on, there is an opportunity for No. 2 reps with Rector, Daniel, West and Douglas in the mix. Rector has a rushing and receiving touchdown in his career, has taken to being a blocker and embraced his role on special teams. Daniel has seen most of his opportunities on special teams but is a consistently used and valued walk-on. Douglas, at 6-foot-4 and 276 pounds, is an intriguing option as a receiver but doesn’t yet have experience as a blocker. West has a toughness that should help him as he moves into year 2 at FSU. Gross did not play in 2021 as he focuses on strength and conditioning. Powers and Courtney will need time to acclimate to positions they didn’t play in high school.
The new guys: Courtney played quarterback, linebacker and safety in high school. Powers was mostly in the slot in high school. The learning curve could be steep for both, although Courtney will enroll early in January.
Shopping in the transfer portal: Unlikely based on current scholarship numbers, McDonald’s return for the 2022 season and priorities in other position groups.
Final thoughts: McDonald offers a level of consistency and stability in what is a hard-working group that isn’t flashy in production but is a big piece of the offense as well as on special teams. Rector offers a versatile skill set (runner, passer, receiver) and can be used on trick plays. Imagine the possibilities when the Seminoles go big with a tight end (McDonald at 6-4 or Douglas at 6-4) along with a few of their tallest receivers (Johnny Wilson at 6-7, Malik McClain at 6-4 and Darion Williamson at 6-3). Whoa.